#0138 Mark Twain Cabin


#0138 Mark Twain Cabin

Site information:

0.8 mi off of State Hwy 49, at end of Jackass Hill Rd


Plaque information:

There are two state plaques for this landmark.

One plaque is on Hwy 49 west of Jackass Hill Rd

One plaque is on Hwy 49 east of Jackass Hill Rd

There are also two private plaques at the cabin site.

State plaque text:

Mark Twain Cabin

Replica, with original chimney and fireplace. Here on Jackass Hill, young Mark Twain, while guest of Gillis Brothers, 1864-65, gathered material for "Jumping Frog of Calaveras," which first brought him fame, and for "Roughing It."

Department of Public Works - Division of Highways

Private plaque 1 text:

Mark Twain Cabin
Stopping place of packers carrying supplies to miners. Often 200 jackasses on hill over night furnishing concert suggesting name “Jackass Hill”. Very coarse gold found here. $10,000 taken from 100 square feed of ground. Quartz found containing 3/4 of total weight in gold. Mark Twain, Steve, Jim and Bill Gilis and Dick Stoker, the “Dick Baker” in “Roughing it”, were cronies. Mark wrote here “Jumping Frog of Calaveras” from notes made at Angels Camp Tavern.

Private plaque 2 text:

Mark Twain Cabin

This cabin was first built in 1922 to commemorate the famed author’s presence in Tuolumne County during the winter of 1864–65. Sam Clemens had come over the mountains from Virginia City, Nevada, to San Francisco with his friend Steve Gillis. His various biographers gave different reasons for Clemens coming to Jackass Hill. No matter the reason, Sam Clemens arrived here on December 4, 1864.

Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, stayed with the other two Gillis brothers, Jim and Bill, and Dick Stoker (local pocket miners) until about February 25, 1865. While living on the hill, Sam heard the story of the “Jumping Frog” in an Angels Camp saloon. His version would transform his life. Also some of the tall tales spun by the Gills brothers and Stoker would find their way into Mark Twain’s later writings. That short stay here in the Sierra had quite an impact on American Literature.

Time and the elements took their toll on the first “Mark Twain Cabin,” so the Sonora Sunrise Rotary Club, during 2002-05, restored the cabin as its centennial project, celebrating 100 years of rotary (1905–2005). This cabin was dedicated on February 23, 2005, the 100th birthday of Rotary International.

Registered 6/6/1934